Contemplating Ashprihanal

I am a big fan of the 3,100 mile race (Sri Chinmoy). This year, the winner broke the record. Ashprihanal finished in 40 days and 9 hours. After he fnished, they put him iin this float and drove around the course. With him is Grahak, an athlete who dropped out but then spent the rest of his days helping Ashprihanal. And then some guy in a penguin suit.

The athletes who do this race are usually disciples of Sri Chinmoy. Much of their thoughts about the race are about spirituality. Very beautiful transcendental thoughts cross their minds and they share them in a blog. In fact, learning about this race is what got me interested in doing many laps and in the inner runner.

But I also have a friend doing Ironman Canada today. Her first Ironman. Watching the coverage has brought tears to my eyes.

What about me? I did another Gulf Coast sweatfest of 19 miles in just over 5 hours. And this evening, I lifted my free weights. Another 55 mile week.

I swear to God I was attacked by spiritual demons today. My ego (demons) ran completely crazy in fear over an event to take place in my life this Friday. I was on the verge of a real panic attack. I used all of my spiritual training to talk back to the fear and calm it. But I did calm it. I began repeating to myself my version of the Jesus prayer, and asking what ever higher power there is for spiritual help.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, heal me.

After awhile, I realized I was successful. I did not let the insane part of my brain (ego, demons) run my mentality. It caused me to wonder if I really have been successful at transcending worldly mentality. Maybe I have if I can ward off an attack like that.

In my morning meditation, I was completely blank minded. No uplifting inspiration at all. So I have to contemplate my life in a different way. The demonic panic attack could really be the upliftng spiritual thing I need to pay attention to today.

Seabrook, lovely Seabrook:

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Put On Your Hachimaki ….

…. and face life.

This is a hachimaki head band. It is the one I have: fighting spirit

Life, as my ego sees it, is failure, disappointment, shame.

Life, as my spirit sees it, is fine.

My ego is totally fixated on what other people think of me. Plus thinking it is better than certain others.

So, put on your fighting spirit and walk out into the sunshine, thinking of service instead.

By Sri Chinmoy:
\”Always be grateful to your soul,
For it is your soul that has inspired you
And led you
To walk along the sunlit road of aspiration.\”

I get up at 3:40 every morning. I do a spiritual study. Then, I exercise. I exercise again in the evening. Sometimes, I don\’t really feel all that energetic; but as soon as I put on my Hachimaki, I feel great and ready. I get on one of my machines and away I go.

Soaring Eagle Spirit

Today, my alarm went off at 5 am. The plan was to go to Brummerhop park for at least 3 hours. But I struggled to get out of bed. I\’m not really sure why as I had slept well. Maybe dread of the heat. But after lolly gagging for about 15 minutes I got up.

Then I did my spiritual study. The thing that caught my attention was that nearly 3 years ago, I written the name of a difficult work colleague and a date by a certain passage in A Course in Miracles text. That person still annoys me. Have I healed or grown at all?

So, at 6:25, I headed out the door with a liter of drink on my back and several more bottles in a cooler; and walked to Brummerhop park. I wasn\’t sure how long I would be there. But it turns out: long.

Clear day, not a cloud in the sky. Days on the Gulf coast are hot to begin with and only get hotter.

During the first hour and a half or so, doing 0.36 mile laps, I was wondering why I do this. I did notice the Silent Presence on at least one of the laps. But then I saw a young bald eagle perched on the very top of a dead tree. I thought, \”My spirit is that eagle.\” Or perhaps the eagle is a message from my higher self assuring me of its loving presence. Anyway, for a few brief minutes, I was free.

Then, the junk slowly continued its way through my head.

But somehow, today was not as hot as I expected. I continued with the walk jog until I got to 55 laps. I averaged 4 mph. Then, I walked 6 more laps to get to 22 miles.

A Course in Miracles Text 19.I.1

\”…When a situation has been dedicated wholly to truth, peace is inevitable.\”

I read this early this morning and was immediately able to link it with my work. I can completely see myself as being dedicated to truth every day; and not dedicated to self.

Then, at 5 am, I got started running in Meador park. It was 82F to start and 92F 4 hours later when I got done with 17 miles. I am so grateful to have completed this run. Houston is so hot this year. You can only run before the sun hits you. I stayed in the shade after about 8 am.

How to Live

 Frequently, I have negative thoughts early in the morning. In a sense, my spiritual activities and then exercise takes care of them. This morning, I could hear my ego murmuring about a work question: should I take that new position or not?

It is not time to decide. The decision is in the future. But mixed in with the decision is various ego issues like: am I good enough, will I be happy, I am happy now but I can\’t stand no promotional opportunity, I need to get ahead of colleagues, etc.  And then, my knowledge that I am not in the Now. I am not connected to my higher self. And I have no idea how to get that to happen. Any techniques hasn\’t worked. I just haven\’t let go.

But the books say your ego doesn\’t know it anyway. So will I ever know it?

So you can now imagine me becoming more and more upset by this drama. Reading The Power of Now is only making me more upset.

So I got on the treadmill. What an awesome choice. The Gulf coast is so freaking hot and humid. Even before the sun comes up it is 83F. My outside running is consequently slow. But my living room is 71F with a fan blowing right on me. Running in the coolness was terrific!

On my treadmill, I have index cards with parts of the ACIM text written on them. This morning, text 15.V.5 \”…You can place any relationship [situation] under His care and be sure that it will not result in pain, if you offer Him your willingness to have it serve no need but His….\”

Plus lesson 9, \”I see nothing as it is now.\” 

This translates into, I don\’t see this situation as it is now.And also, be willing to let today, my present moment, any choice I make, serve no need but His. For me, the present moment is not enough, there also has to be a Higher Consciousness I am turning over to. Somehow, running on the treadmill and thinking about serving no need but His, surrender happened. I was able to \”get\” it.

That was early this morning. Now, I can remember it happened. I can almost recall how the understanding felt. But I can\’t really put all the little bits of thought together and explain it to you. 

Why did I call this post \”How to Live?\” Well, frequently, immediately after my spiritual exercise and during my physical exercise, I get a moment of clarity. In that moment, my ego is gone. Life does not seem so frightening. That is how to live.

Multi-days – 4

What I am doing these few days is not training per se. Its just that I have no need to \”train\” objectively at the moment. I have 5 days of time and good health; so I want to push myself out to the edge of my mind and emotions. Miles and sun and time are taking me out past where I can normally go. It takes a few days of high volume to produce the level of tiredness the forces me to a different feeling than I can get even with one marathon.

Today I was back at it. I easily got up at 4:45 and did my spiritual musing. Then at 6:08, I got started in Brummerhop Park. After i got to 9 miles, I realized my legs had not desire to jog so I started walking. I wondered how those shoes would feel if I walked for 4 hours in them.

It was very hot today. My legs were on fire with heat rash during the last hour. At about 5h30min, my personality caved, my ego crashed. I almost teared up. Finally the inner pain and anger welled. You can\’t get to this place of vulnerability with one or two days of training. It seems to take a few days for me.

I ended up with 20.16 miles.

This evening, I did my trx for arms plus crunches. Then I decided on another 3.1 mile walk.
I don\’t know what I will do tomorrow. I think I\’ll have a recovery day. Do a few chores too.



Multi-days – 3

Day 3 of 5 days off.

I slept in again, til 6:30 that is. I was awake at 4, but not thinking I was going to do big miles today. No need to start really early. Actually, the forecast was for a sunny day and I had no idea how many miles I would do if any.

My spiritual study was hard. I guess I had more work reaction thoughts due to an e-mail. I had to ask again, why do I need to react? I am afraid. Ekhart Tolle \”The Power of Now\” was saying some things that are dead on true and other things that are nonsense. I had to practice not judging the universe.

At 7:45, I decided to pack up my stuff and go to Meador park for laps. No goals on how many laps.

I had a bunch of liquid in a cooler, in the car which I would pass every 0.36 miles. I wore my heat gear shirt to keep the sun off. My feet and legs were very fine; no issues from the day before.

My prison today was the heat. I thought about it constantly.

My mantra was from A Course in Miracles: This holy instant would I give to you. Be thou in charge for I would follow you, certain that your direction brings me peace. And, lesson 3: I do not understand anything I see.

I saw 3 turtles. The first was in the road when I drove to the park. The car in front of me stopped and the driver got out to move the turtle. That was nice. The second was a small one on the trail. The third was in the bayou. I saw the many fiddler crabs. I saw 2 youngster sea birds, still mottled as young birds are. I saw a large white egret make a nice catch. I saw a big smile on a youthful female runner as she passed me headed home. I think she was happy she was completing her training. She was part of the cross country team.

Yesterday, someone asked me how the dregs of my ego tasted. This question irritated my ego. Really? How egotistical am I really? A bunch. But, I finally worked out the answer. After at least 3:30 hours in the heat, I saw a police helicopter. My ego began a fantasy about how the cops were looking for a killer who was down near me, who was going to kidnap me, ransom me and possibly kill me. That fantasy is insane thinking. But it is also pretty normal human thinking; its just that many people don\’t notice these insane fantasies. Drinking my dregs, I noticed it and some part of my real self sent out a prayer for mental healing. The dregs of my ego are the fantasies; which I am not.

After that, I was able to identify of the peace of the trees and the quiet presence.

I stopped at 50 laps, 18 miles, 4:39. I had more drinks today. But I didn\’t want to tear up my toes and ruin tomorrow for running. The temperature was 96-97F the last 3 hours of the run.

Coming home, I had the e-mail I\’ve been checking for. Nope, I won\’t be going to Germany this month. My ego wanted to start in on me for not being chosen. I was able to watch this. The real me asked for another way to look at this.

I am a conscious person. I see and feel my ego snapping several times a day at some person or situation. I don\’t outwardly react; but I do feel the emotional jolt. I wish it would stop. Healing the ego\’s attack mentality is what I need my higher power for. Healing is part of why I pursue spiritual studies. I may not ever be enlightened or wise; but sanity could return. Step 2 of AA is \”Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.\” So here I am, nearly 30 years of sobriety and at step 2.

Lots of cars were on Todville Road. Everybody going to Kemah. I will be one of the people not over eating or drinking for the 4th of July. In fact, I\’ll be hiding from people and jogging in a forest.

Multi-days – 1 and 2

Yesterday, the first full day of my 5 days off, I made it out of bed at 4:45. Then I did some spiritual study. Then, I gathered up my drinks and cooler and hydropak and made it to the Seabrook trails by 6:10. First I did a loop up to Pine Gully park and ran around Pine Gully 3 times before heading back towards the new loop. Pine Gully offers a nice view of Galveston Bay and is worth looking at 3 times.

Then, I did laps around the new loop:

The new loop has alot of trees. I can park fairly close, so carrying my cooler in is not too far. I make the little trip across the bayou every lap because it gives me a few steps of up and down each time.

My goal yesterday was to do walk jog until it was too hot to jog and then keep walking until I ran out of drink. I wanted to feel what it is like to be too tired or hot to jog, but still keep going. After about 4:45 I got there. Looking back at the weather, it was about 95F during that time. I walked until 6 hours, then I was almost out of drink so I left.

It took about 3 hours to get my mind into the now. Then, after another hour, I was able to focus on: This is what I wanted. I wanted to be out there doing laps and feeling however I felt. What this means was not clear until today.

So, yesterday evening, I felt like I had missed something. I thought, one day gone and I haven\’t achieved whatever vague metaphysical goal I have: enlightenment. Or I hadn\’t learned anything. Or inspiration had not struck me.

I am not planning on tearing up my body or my toes this multi-day, so I didn\’t set the alarm last night. Today, Thursday, was supposed to be sunny. I didn\’t plan on doing many miles. I planned on some walking and cross training.

I got up at 6:30 and had a productive spiritual exercise. It was productive because I seemed to have an ego breakthru. I was thinking about a guy at work along with spiritual teaching from A Course in Miracles. Fear was on my mind. From the bottom of my heart, I asked my ego, \”Why do you have to beat that guy?\” From this question, I was able to achieve a new level of commitment to a life of living love. That is, Love would only help that guy. I could decide to help that guy. I really felt honest about my ability to move forward as love.

Then I decided to walk in El Lago. After I got out there, I realized I felt good and it was coolish (for Houston I mean). So I did walk jog for 2 hours. There was an unexpected cloud cover that looked like it would hold for a couple more hours. So I went home, gather up some drinks and went to Brummerhop park; instead of cross training.

I was hoping for 2 more hours. I had to take some park water, but I made 2:24. After about 1:45 hours, now 3:45 hours of jogging I realized what for. See, after some period of time in the heat and the jogging, I reach the edge of my personality, the dregs of my ego, the place where the weaving is not. It could be the outer edge, but sometimes it is the inner edge. If I find myself quite easily able to imagine my self as light in a field of light, then I\’d say that is the inner edge.

There is no objective productivity evident from reaching the ragged inner edge of my life in this world. But it is a place I like to go. This only works if your are NOT training. If your running is focused on training for a race, then it never transcends objectivity. My running at the moment has no purpose, so it can transcend the ego\’s world.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring.